Thursday, October 29, 2009

My hair and my camera, what a combo

Way back in August, I posted about how I wanted to do something drastic to my hair. It was not on my good side. The concencus was to but it a bit shorter but keep the same general style. You all confirmed my gut insticts and kept that voice inside that was screaming, "Shave it off!" to a dull roar.

I did exactly that and I HATED it. The bangs and the length were nothing but wrong. That voice mentioned above took it up seven octaves. I had the razor poised. Then, in last ditch effort to keep my husband and kids happy - they all love my long hair, cut from the same cloth they all are- I attempted an intervention on my bangs using a technique I saw somewhere that has since disappeared into the deep vortex that is the internet.

It was fabulous and I so wish I could find it. My hair stylist laughed her butt off after her complimenting me on my bangs, her admitting she did not cut them like that, and me telling her I used a tutorial on the internet to do it. She was all, "They show you how to cut your hair on the iternet!!!?" She has no idea what is on the internet, clearly, but she's awesome so I forgive her innocence.

Anywho, fast forward a couple of months and my hair has smartened up. It was frighted by all the razor talk I am certain. Since it's finally cooperating and I was sick to death of my the profile picture I have been using here since February 2008, I decided to attempt a new one.

Armed with my new tripod (YIPEE) and the natural light from the living room windows, here is the result.

Profile attempt 1 of 456

I have newly acquired Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0 but damn if I know how to use it. As such, the above photo is straight out of the camera. Don't look too close at my less than perfect skin now, you hear. Also keep in mind it got shrunk down to a 48 by 48 pixel square for use as my avitar for various on-line applications.

Also sorry about the burning of your retinas.

Anyway, this long and rambling post about my hair (damn, I am deep) was all to say think you for you spectacular advice. So THANKS!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Blog in Print

Ever since I started blogging I have wondered how I could preserve what I write here long term. Let's face it, the Internet is likely to gone the way of eight tracks by the time our kids are grown. I knew I couldn't just save them in electronic form, computers and the software they run are obsolete faster than I can inhale a small chocolate bar (oh what I would give for a chocolate bar followed by a Carmel latte chaser right now - the elimination diet is not going well can you tell?).

I did a post about this about this very issue back in June. Some suggested Shutterfly where you can make a fancy photo book including your blog posts. I started that and realized it would take me hundreds of hours to make it worth anything and frankly, for the amount they may get read, it just wasn't worth my time. Also, the lack of patience I possess would have had me rocking in the fetal position suckling a bottle of vodka like a newborn partway through my posts from 2006, also the year I began this here blog.

Then someone pointed me to Blog 2 Print. I remember who but if it was you I am laying a great big wet smack on your cheek right now. That ought keep anyone from fessing up, no?

This service, well let's just say it's the next best thing since sliced bread. It pulls it all together FOR YOU. All you do is give your URL and specify the dates for the posts to pull and it spits this out to you, mailed right to your door.

Blog 2 Print Blog 2 Print Blog to Print

Now, I can't lie, it wasn't that easy. I decided that I wanted to separate posts about the boys from posts about me. To remove the posts I didn't want pulled into the book I just went through and unpublished all the posts I didn't want - don't worry, they are not gone, merely saved as draft to be re posted at a later date. I made a book for each year except for 2007 which I split into two books because there were too many photos. The first one came in the mail the other day and it's pretty neat to have a book to flip through.

It allows me ample opportunity to reminisce over my little baby boys. They were aged five and two in 2006 and ever so wee compared to now. And then I cringe over the hideous "writing" and the overuse of smiley faces and exclamation points. They grow physically, emotionally and intellectually, my writing has grown (I think). We'll call it even.

I am very happy with this book and the 2007 and 2008 ones are being shipped shortly. I will then begin the process of republishing posts about me and unpublishing those about the boys so I can have my very own narcissistic book titled "1 2 3 All About Me". It will be handy when I am old and have no memory. I can read about this crazy woman who overused exclamation points with two adorable boys and had hormonal issues. I can't hardly wait.

And last but not least, Blog 2 Print is doing a fall promotion. If use the code fall4b2p to purchase a book before November 9, 2009 you will receive 20% off. They told me to share it with my friends and my friends, they are you!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Wish

To my dear Jack and Kamden,

This life, it is short. It can be amazing and it can also knock you down and kick you in the nuts. You cannot control the knocks or the kicks but you are the captain of your own ship. You control how you react to the knocks and the kicks. No one else. You control where that ship takes you in life. You and only you. Always remember that.

In this life, I wish for you:

Love. Deep, unconditional, passionate love. May you find that special someone that was meant to walk beside you as your equal through this life.

Laughter. May you always find the humour in the situation and never take yourself or any situation too seriously. (Except when you put your Daddy and I into a retirment home, take that VERY seriously. Please?)


Passion. May you find that which engulfs your body and soul, makes you strive to be better and also provides for you and if applicable, your family. Not just a job but something that fufills you to your very core. (I am allowed to wish for my kids what I don't have, right?)

To know your heart. May you always be true to yourself and follow your heart wherever it may take you. Be confident in your decisions. Own them, good or bad, they are yours as are the consequences that come with them. Learn from your mistakes with no regrets.

Happiness. May you find true happiness. It's yours for the taking. If you follow your heart and your dreams, you will find it.

Farm boy

This is what I wish for you.

And also, while you are off doing all of that, call your Mom and Dad every now and then, okay?

Love Mommy


Friday, October 23, 2009

I've gone off nuts, it's official

If you are a regular reader (hi, y'all, you know how much I love you, right? M'wah) you know about my health issues. I have pretty much maxed on any help from the medical side of things. I am on hormones, which have helped immensely, however, the migraines that began the day before we left for Hawaii this past January have not budged. In fact, they love to pop up at the most inopportune moments, like smack dab in the middle of my Pilate's class a couple of days ago. Not to mention that my thyroid and adrenal glands could just up and go the way of my ovaries whenever they feel like it.

A friend mentioned (Hi Jackie!) a naturopath. What the hell I said, what have I got to lose?

So I went a week and half ago and I won't lie, parts of it had me going, are you serious?

For example, the Velcro straps that she put around my ankles, wrists and forehead that were connected to a small box with blinking lights that proceeded to tell her computer all kinds of things that normally would require extensive blood work. And then, and this had my mom laughing so hard she couldn't talk, to see what supplements would work well for me, she proceeded to place bottles of liquid on top of the box with blinking lights.

I know, I know, I should have an open mind but how, on God's green earth, does a bottle of liquid on top of a box tell her how my body will react to whatever is in the bottle?

And if this works so well, why haven't we abolished invasive blood tests?

Anyway, I didn't really go for that part of it, though I am taking the supplements the blinking box said would work and I feel good. What I went for the diet and nutrition part. I believe strongly that what I put in to my body has a huge impact on its productivity and well being. I have already learned that fitness goes a long way, surely improving on what I am eating will also help. And in fact, maybe I can even prevent further health problems such as a slacker thyroid. If I can, why wouldn't I?

She (the naturopath, we'll call her Shirley), put me on an elimination diet. That means that for three weeks I can't eat dairy (no surprise here, I have been lactose intolerant for years), sugar (I may have audibly gasped when she said that), wheat, eggs and peanuts. WHAT? No peanut butter and honey toast for breakfast? You are KILLING me slowly.

I love sugar. I love baking. I love my toast for breakfast. In no particular order.

That was a week and half ago. I honestly thought giving up sugar was going to put me in the loony bin. It hasn't. I am okay. I have some honey every now and then to keep me sane and I am good to go. What might surprise you (Hi Mom and Dad) is that I have not eaten chocolate since I can remember - likely the day before I started this diet, I have a short memory, what can I say. For me, this is an eternity. And I am still breathing. Wonders never cease.

What I would do though is cut off my left arm for a piece of bread. Slathered generously with peanut butter and jam, full sugar jam (if only I could be that much of a bad ass). Almond butter is good, but it's not peanut butter.

Today, armed with advice from several wheat avoiders, I hit up the health food store. Lo and behold! A whole array of flours that nary did see the stalk of a wheat plant. It was like I hit the mother load.

I bought a bread mix that while it contains some sugar meets the rest of the requirements. I baked it up the minute I got home.

Bread and pizza dough

The second it came out of the machine, I sliced a piece and slathered it with jam (sugar free).

BREAD, it's divine

It was good. And I finally feel full. Taking wheat out of my diet left very few carbs and I need me some carbs to feel full. It's a process. I am learning. And I feel great.

I'll let you know how this adventure turns out. Or Jay will in between visits with me in the loony bin.


Monday, October 19, 2009

The makings of a great weekend

A few weeks ago, I had a really good idea. I needed to do some shopping. You see, last winter, I was akin to a burning inferno so I purged my closet of all long sleeved tops that no longer fit. This year, I am more like an Arctic ice berg and the purging of last year, while necessary, left me with no more than three long sleeved outfits. That and the jeans that I wear on a daily basis were down to two pairs that fit. I needed to shop.

While the shopping here is okay, know the shopping is even better in the city where my good friend, Cheryl, lives; not to mention the company is spectacular. Because you see, what I also needed was some serious girl time. You know, the kind of time with a good girlfriend that lets you hang loose.

So being bright and all, I check flights, confirm with her that the weekend works after checking with Jay and then HUZZAH I booked it.

A trip, on my own, where there was no work required has not occurred since about 1993 (remember New Year's Jenelle?) For me, this was extravagant. I don't do this. My husband also does not go on trips on his own. We are weird like that. I do like a weekend away and my job over the last few years has provided weekend trips frequently enough for my liking. However, I have not had to travel for work since September 2008. Not that I am complaining, trust me. Those weekends are fun but they are also filled with 10 to 12 hour work days. This weekend involved zero, zilch, nada in the way of work and instead provided good conversation, excellent food and some serious shopping.


You can see her take on the weekend here.

All with this gal. It was just what I needed. We chatted, and chatted and chatted some more. You know you have a great friend when you never run out of things to talk about. She also has a knack for making me try on things that I would not normally try on. And then I love them. And then my credit card internally combusts.

I kid.

She also took me for sushi. I have only had it once and it was, putting it mildly, icky. But she raves about it so I had to see for myself. It was delish. I am already craving it again. I am on the hunt for a good local place.

All in all, it was pure fun. I came home yesterday to the smiling faces of my boys feeling great. It was just what I needed.

Cheryl, her husband Tim and son Cole, were gracious hosts and I cannot thank them enough for welcoming me with open arms. I had the best time with the best company.

Let's do it again really soon.

(To see more pictures from Cheryl and Tim's fancy basement where I had the privledge of staying, see my Flikr stream here. )


Friday, October 16, 2009

The stages of mothehood

Wow, where did the week go? I have no post here but if you are dying for some Kami you can head over to and read my post over at Canada Moms Blog about cutting the apron strings. The anticipation was scary but once we jumped in with both feet, it's been very liberating.


Friday, October 09, 2009


Up here in the Great White North (and no, I am not happy that I can now say that with accuracy, it's only October for goodness sake) this weekend is Thanksgiving. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that we have ours a month and half sooner than our American friends due to the fact that winter comes ever so much earlier here. It's hard to slaughter a bird when it's Arctic-like out.

Can you guess what I am not thankful for? That's right, we'll take winter for $400, Alex. It's here. It's barely October. Yes, that's me sobbing uncontralably in the corner. Thanks for not kicking me on your way by.

But lest you think I am a complete ingrate (you wouldn't be far off though, just so you know) I am actually very thankful for many things.

I am thankful for my two boys who can go from superheros keeping the world safe from evil


to compasionate, loving young men who find great joy in snuggling up with a stuffy. Their collections are extensive and their love for each of member makes their momma's heart swell.


They have a good role model, you see.


This family of mine is what I am most thankful for and that includes extended family with whom will will have the pleasure of celebrating with this weekend.

To all my Canadian friends, may you share love, laughs and happiness with family and friends this weekend. May each of us find the joy in our lives to cherish. It is what is most important.

Happy weekend everyone!

Ps If you have trouble commenting here, please let me know. It was brought to my attention that it is a regular occurrence. Also, how do I fix it?


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I strive for mediocrity


My life goes in a pattern. I try something, I fall in love with it, I eat, sleep and breathe it but then my interest wanes so I move on to the next thing.

In the time that I focus on the task at hand I learn quickly. I learn enough to be good at it. But I always feel like I hit a ceiling whereby any further effort will be for naught. I never get to great.

Thankfully this is never the case with the important things in life just the hobbies. Over the years I have tried figure skating, horseback riding, indoor climbing, photography and most recently running.

I quit figure skating after six years of hard work. In that time I made great progress. I started at a late age and was always behind the girls my own age but that didn't bother me at all. I made great strides at closing the gap in that short time and that made me feel good.

A few years later my parents got me a horse (yes, I may have been a tad spoiled, why do you ask?) and I began taking lessons. I loved it. It was like coming home because I had something new to learn and strive for. It filled a void that skating had left in my life. Again, I lived the sport, spending hours riding, practicing, reading about it and traveling to local clinics to learn from the experts.

Then University and that whole career thing that follows got in the way and I said good bye to my horse. Then came the kids and the change of carreer.

I still tell myself that someday I will ride again but the truth is I likely won't because new hobbies and passions have taken over. There is only so much time in the day.


It does give me pause to wonder though if maybe I am satisfied to be mediocre at everything I try and once I achieve that, my attention span is maxed out and I move on to the next thing.

But at the same time, I have no regrets about the path my life has taken. Each activity I have participated in has taught me something invaluable. I wouldn't be who I am today if I had not been passionate about each one.

I do wonder though where I will be in five years. Will I still be running? Will I still be trying to improve my photography skills?


Only time will tell.


Friday, October 02, 2009

Harvest on the Prairies

Today, I am on Canada Moms Blog remembering my time as a child during harvest on the farm.
Somehow I think it was a simplier time, a simplier life, or maybe it was the fact that I was a kid.

Or the rose coloured glasses I like to wear.